You know when a teacher or coworker asks to “go around the room and describe yourself in one word”?
Let’s have a show of hands for who describes themselves as “authentic” in those situations. Because I’ve certainly never heard someone say it about themselves!
There’s a reason for that, and it’s likely because most people who are truly authentic don’t even realize that they are.
They simply do things every day because it’s what they do – with no idea it makes them the most genuine person of all!
Think you might have an authentic nature? Here are 10 things you probably do without even realizing it!
1) They say your name
I remember reading a ton of personal development books when I first started working an office job.
“Remember people’s name and say it often if you want people to like you” – most of them would say.
Apparently, it forms a more personal connection and makes people feel more valued. Because they know you’ve remembered their name.
Provided you aren’t meeting about 20 people at once (like on your first day in the office!), it’s pretty easy to remember someone’s name when they say it to you.
But not everyone sees it as an important thing to do. Yet if you’re a truly authentic person, you will. And you’ll say their name pretty frequently in conversation, forming that genuine connection without even realizing it!
2) They keep eye contact when you’re talking
This is another “trick” you’ll find in all the self-development books. But if you’re an authentic person, you don’t need to be told to look at someone when they’re talking to you. You do it anyway!
When someone keeps averting their gaze while you’re talking, or just outright stares into the distance, this is an obvious signal that they aren’t listening. Or they aren’t interested in what you’re saying…
Either way, it comes across as pretty rude.
Which is why authentic people don’t do this. If you’re speaking, they value it. And they just naturally hold your gaze because they know it’s important that they do. Plus, they actually want to listen and for you to keep talking!
3) They genuinely ask how you are
It’s tricky to explain this one, but I know I can always tell if someone is genuinely asking how I am, or if it’s just a passing comment.
For example, if someone walks by you and says, “You alright?”, they probably aren’t looking for you to open up. Likewise, a “hope you’re well” text isn’t the same as a “how are you?” message.
I can think of a few times when someone has a genuine look on their face, a hint of concern in their eyes, and has asked me a very caring, “How are you?”.
These people are naturally very authentic. Because asking someone how they are so kindly and genuinely is just something they do without even realizing it!
4) They remember things about you
Another thing you’ll find in a book about how to win friends and influence people is: Remember things people tell you about themselves.
And they say it for a reason! Because someone remembering the small details about your life feels good.
When I met my partner’s friend’s wife for the first time, I mentioned something casually. The next time I saw her, she asked how it went. It was very, very nice.
Authentic people don’t need a book to tell them to remember the little things you say and follow up about how they went at a later date. They just do it. Because they actually care.
Or at least, they care enough to make the effort…
5) They ask a lot of questions
When you‘re a kid, you’re told it’s a good thing to be curious. You’re encouraged to ask questions because it’s the best way to learn.
As you get older, some people forget this fact. They fear that they should be “old enough to know all the answers” – especially when they’re in positions of power.
So they tell you (or at least, they think) it’s bad to ask questions. That it makes you look foolish or “weak” for not knowing.
But if you’re an authentic person, you hold onto your youth in this respect. You don’t see asking questions as a sign that you or someone else is “silly”. You know it’s just a way of learning and understanding new things. That’s it.
Plus, you’d rather someone ask (including you) than have the fact that they didn’t ask bite you in the bum later…
6) They show their vulnerable side
Just like asking questions, some people hold the view that it’s bad to show your vulnerable side. They think opening up and talking about your feelings makes you look “weak”.
But when you’re truly authentic, you have no problem kicking this theory to the curb – without even realizing it!
When you feel comfortable, you open up to people like it’s the most natural thing in the world. You have no problem showing your vulnerable side, because you know that everyone has one!
You also don’t think anything negative when people show their vulnerable side to you. In fact, you like seeing who they really are and you appreciate the trust they have in you!
7) They value experiences over possessions
Authentic people aren’t all about owning the latest or most expensive things.
I used to know someone like this. He’d only want the latest thing so he could say he had it. And if he visited certain places, it was only “for the gram”, rather than because he really wanted to see and experience it.
You see it a lot during the holidays, too. Some people are all about the presents and how much money has been spent on them. They don’t have as much regard for spending time together and appreciating the thought behind the gifts.
But truly authentic people aren’t like this at all. They value the experience over anything else. And when they want things, it’s because they want it, not because of how it looks to own it…
8) They don’t chase power
Some people love the idea of being in charge – and there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem comes when they chase it for “selfish” reasons, rather than anything else.
Let’s take a look at some examples.
Some people want to become a CEO in their job so they can be in charge of thousands, feel powerful in themselves, and enjoy the status that comes with being so senior.
Others strive to climb the ladder so they can lead people, make a change, and feel like they’re achieving great things in life.
I’m guessing it’s no surprise that the second type of person is more authentic than the first! Why? Because their reasons for wanting power aren’t superficial. They’re way more genuine and are more about “the people” than themselves…
9) They relinquish control when they need to
When you’re a truly authentic person, you don’t have to be in control all the time. Even if you’re a manager, project leader, or parent, you know you don’t always have to be the one calling the shots!
Just like a good leader does in the workplace, you’re happy to sit back and let others do their thing and achieve great stuff – without your “oversight”.
And you just do this naturally. You don’t have to hold yourself back from telling someone what to do. Or from micromanaging…
You’re happy to take control and relinquish it when you need to – without feeling like you’re “less” for doing so.
10) They don’t apologize for who they are
When you think about the definition of what it means to be authentic, it’ll be something along the lines of being true to who you are.
Which is exactly why you’ll never find an authentic person pretending to be someone they aren’t! When you’re an authentic person, you like what you like and you’re proud of that.
You won’t apologize for where you are in your life, what you like, and who you are, generally, as a person. You’re just you, and you’re OK with that.
Authenticity is a little hard to come by these days – particularly the natural kind.
Some people only act a certain way because of what a self-development book says. Others read these things and completely understand why it’s good for others (and themselves) to do them!
And some very unique people just know it’s good to be authentic – and naturally do things that other people can only read about to know for sure.
Either way, these 10 behaviors are clear signs of authenticity in a person.
So if you do these things, naturally or otherwise, you’re probably way more genuine than you realize. And it’s time to appreciate just how amazing you are!